Football ‘n Chili

Hooray for Monday, right?! Yay! I love Mondays!! πŸ™‚

Nothing like the power of positive thinking, right?

The good news is (for me) that this is the last full work week of 2011! Winter vacation starts next Friday, so I only have a little less than two weeks to make it through. I think I can do it…

Sunday was pretty busy. I got the gym early today to do solo Bodypump (practice, practice, practice!) before I taught spin class. Greg and I had tickets to go to the Redskins/Patriots football game and had to leave the house by 11:00, so I had to get home as quickly as I could.

I was sooooo happy to enjoy a bowl of warm peachy-banana oatmeal Sunday morning. Whew, I needed it!

Since I’m brilliant, I also threw a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker that I was hoping would come together as chili by the time we got home in the evening. My friend Patty had sent me a recipe for quinoa chili last week, and I was eager to try it out. More on that, later.

Just a little history about football team loyalty: I never gave a crap about football growing up, and both of my parents were Redskins fans. I am (and have been for about 12 years) a RAVENS fan. I went to college in Baltimore, when they won the Superbowl, and it was just such a great time to live in that city. Greg is a Patriots fan. While I root for Boston baseball, I have not been converted to root for their football team. However, unless they’re playing the Ravens, I will root for the Pats along with Greg.

The forecast for the day was in the 40s with sunshine, so I figured I’d be okay as long as I layered up (and as long as the sun was out!). I had never actually been to a Redskins game, but worked there selling hot chocolate along with some friends when I was in college. I have heard pretty much nothing but bad things about the stadium, from how disorganized everything is and how getting in and out of there is a nightmare to how outrageous the prices are for concessions (well, is there any stadium actually has reasonably priced concessions?!). We got off the exit for the stadium around noon (the game was at 1:00) and it took almost an hour to park, and then about 25 minutes to get through the gate. There seemed to be no system of how to expedite this process, and people were pissed!

But, eventually we got in and found our seats. 7th row from the 30 yard line- not bad! Our view was definitely great. The Army/Navy game was played here Sunday, and their names were still in the endzone.

Lots of action in this game- it kept getting tied up, which should tell you how bad New England’s defense was, because the Redskins are terrible.

It was definitely an exciting game, even though we were freezing, to put it mildly!

I even had a Pats shirt on under my two jackets, not that it mattered.

Somebody had to see that I wore this to be a supportive wife!

And of course, there were the Hogettes….

Gotta love those guys. Honestly, I love super-fans, I don’t care which team they root for!

So, here is where I rant about what I DIDN’T like about the game and stadium. It was cold (duh) but no one has control over that. As I said above, there seems to be no organization for the parking or entering of the stadium, and it was a madhouse. We were seated amongst mostly Redskins fans, and those particular fans were incredibly foul-mouthed (and had NO FILTER in front of the many kids that were around) and very hostile. Every team the Skins would get a penalty or New England would score there would be yelling and lots of “F that S” and “That’s BS” etc…. very classy.

Also, the concessions were PATHETIC. I walked halfway around the stadium to find a concession stand that didn’t just have hotdogs and chicken tenders and finally found a grilled chicken sandwich. It was barely edible- the bread was hard as a rock, and therefore tossed away, and it was TEN DOLLARS. I also bought a cup of coffee for myself ($4- okay) and a hot chocolate with Baileys for Greg (and for me to sip from) which was EIGHTEEN DOLLARS! The price wasn’t advertised- and when the cashier told me, I laughed and said “are you joking?!?” She kind of laughed too- I know she didn’t set the price. So I paid $32 for two drinks and a mutated grilled chicken disk. You also can’t bring any food into FedEx field, like you can with pretty much any other stadium.

The game was a nail-biter up until the end, but New England ended up pulling it out for a win. (And I was sooooo thankful that it didn’t go into overtime- I would have lost all feeling in my hands and feet!)

We literally ran out of the stadium and all the way to the car to avoid getting stuck on the way out, and it’s a good thing we did! I got a text from a friend that was still stuck in the parking lot when we were almost home!

Don’t get me wrong though- the game was fun. And, it was the first time that Greg had gotten to see his team play a real game (he’s only seen pre-season). I know he was really excited to see his idol Tom Brady right in front of us. πŸ™‚

And when we got home, the smell of chili greeted us… ahhhh…. Seriously, there aren’t many things that make me more happy than having a hot dinner waiting for me when I get home.

I threw this together in such a frenzy in the morning, that I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Saying that it turned out well is an understatement- it was incredibly delicious! I have actually never put beef (or quinoa!) in my chili before, but since we had so much of it in the freezer, it made sense to use it.

With a little cheese (okay, it was cheddar Rice Shreds) on top…


From what I can remember, this is what I threw in the slow-cooker:

Quinoa-beef chili

1/2 lb. grass-fed ground beef

1 28- oz can salt-free diced tomatoes

1/2 large onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1/2 c red kidney beans

1/3 c dry quinoa

1/2 c water

1/2 packet Simply Organic spicy chili seasoning (don’t judge- I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to make my own spice mix!)

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours.

Quinoa in chili is AWESOME. The texture it adds is SO incredible- I don’t know if I can make chili without it anymore! I brought a little bowl of it with my lunch today- and everyone knows that chili is even better the second day!


Do you attend live sporting events? What do you usually eat/drink from the concession stand? And- of all of the stadiums you’ve been to- who has the best food? (I go with the “gobbler” at Fenway- which is turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on a bun, but Camden Yards in Baltimore and AT&T park in SF are pretty great, too. And definitely the Rockies stadium, HANDS DOWN, for beer selection.)



14 Comments on “Football ‘n Chili”

  1. I hate rude fans. And Redskin fans are some of the worse. I actually don’t really care about professional sports and don’t root for a Pro team. But I love my Hokie football πŸ™‚ and I think Lane stadium is the best (I’m slightly biased).

    That chili looks delicious. I need to bust out my crockpot soon!

  2. Jenny says:

    I’ve always been an Eagles fan (through the good and the bad (aka this year)), but living down here means I pretty much only hear about the Skins. That’s not a problem, though, because they are terrible this year and I like to hear that repeated over and over again. πŸ™‚

    Stadium food is The! Worst! They charge 8 times more than they should for something that tastes 10 times worst than it has to. I don’t get it. Do they not appreciate the fans? Well, I guess if the fans were like those you described I wouldn’t appreciate them, either. But still. That’s not the norm

    Either way, I’m glad Greg got to see his team in action. And now I want chili. Good thing we purchased those supplies yesterday. πŸ™‚

    • Lauren says:

      The Eagles! Yikes! I went to a game in Philly back in 2004 or so, and I thought I was going to be murdered by the fans. They were super aggressive! Isn’t there a jail at that stadium or something? πŸ™‚

  3. I am not a fan of televised sports, they were constantly on TV growing up with 6 sports nut brothers and a die hard sports fan who is my dad. All I wanted to do was watch the Brady Bunch. But going to live games are a lot of fun, I like basketball the best.

    I am in shock about the price of your drink. I think I would have told her ‘never mind’. That’s insane!

    • Lauren says:

      You poor thing! πŸ™‚
      I grew up with parents who would yell at the Redskins on tv constantly, so I always hated football growing up. I’m not big on televised sports, and definitely prefer to watch it live- but I will watch the Sox play on tv any day of the week. We have a package with DirecTv that we get all of their games broadcast- kind of ridiculous. πŸ™‚

  4. Liz says:

    I went to my first Redskins game last month and I was surprised by the crappy food choices, especially compared to the Nationals stadium. I think I got a pretzel and a few beers and that was it. Also I think the Redskins is one of the biggest money-making markets, so I don’t understand why they can’t improve these things!

    • Lauren says:

      Nationals stadium has pretty good food choices. I’ve been to three or four games there, and have never had the patience to wait in line for Ben’s Chili Bowl.
      But- one time we scored tickets off Stubhub the Lexus Presidential Seats, and they have a 5 start buffet before hand and then all the food you can eat (burgers, different sandwiches, popcorn, peanuts, candy, etc.) is also included in the ticket price, and they will just keep bringing it to you. It’s insane!

  5. Lee says:

    I’ve never been to a pro football game!

  6. melanie says:

    This may be silly question but do you brown the beef before you put it in the slow cooker or just put it in raw? Thanks!!

    • Lauren says:

      Not silly at all! I didn’t cook a thing beforehand. Veggies, beef, quinoa- everything went in raw. Believe me, it was definitely cooked by the time we ate πŸ™‚

  7. I like citizen’s bank park in Philly.
    The NY baseball stadiums have great food but it’s EXPENSIVE. It’s sad to me that true fans can no longer afford to attend.

  8. My hubby LOVES college football, so I support him with that–and we went to a bunch of games. They were fun, but can get SO cold!

    I totally love throwing random stuff into a crock pot. Best meals ever!

  9. OMG, I was at the game as well and I too paid that EXORBITANT amount for the hot chocolate with Baileys! I was DUMBFOUNDED when the woman told me how much I owed.

  10. Gotta love it when things turn out better than expected. Gotta love super fans too. They make people watching so much more interesting!

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